The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


A cathedral in the night

Outdoor worship calls young adults into ministry with the homeless

To some, churches can seem intimidating, even unwelcoming. With that in mind, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Our Savior, South Hadley, Mass., joined with the Episcopal Church and the United Church of Christ to offer a weekly outdoor evening service called "Cathedral in the Night."

The Sunday service is held on the front steps of First Churches of Northampton, a stone Gothic cathedral on the busy main street of Northampton, an eclectic college town in western Massachusetts. Known as an artistic, musical and countercultural hub, the city also has a high percentage of homeless people.

The space is accessible to all — a setting reminiscent of the way Jesus moved and taught among the people.

Worshipers—primarily young adults and
Worshipers — primarily young adults and the homeless — gather in Northampton, Mass., for the weekly "Cathedral in the Night."

This ministry seeks to create a Christian community where young adults feel safe to explore, question and live out their spiritual beliefs as they worship with the marginalized and fight the causes of homelessness. Another component is "Common Ground," where young adults gather midweek in a coffeehouse to discuss spirituality and the messiness of life.

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February issue


Embracing diversity